Do You Have a Gap in Your Benefit Eligibility Procedures? Issues Raised by Non-FMLA Reduced Schedules and Leaves of Absence

Most employers have procedures in place to ensure that an employee who takes leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whether as a reduced schedule or an extended leave of absence, retains his or her eligibility under the employer-sponsored health plan. But many employers have gaps in their procedures when an employee’s reduced schedule or leave of absence occurs when the employee is not yet eligible for FMLA leave or after FMLA leave has been exhausted. Typically, the gap in procedures exists when the non-FMLA reduced schedule or extended leave arises from a work injury or as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).